Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Scientific measurements, and chemical measurements in particular, play an important part in modern society and are being used increasingly as a basis for important decisions and regulations in legal, medical and environmental fields. This responsibility, however, means that the reliability of such measurements is of the utmost importance. A growing awareness, of both public and of governments, of environmental issues means that environmental measurements are becoming a particular case in point. Here, measurements must be comparable across borders, while for chemists the prime concern is the loss of credibility that a lack of reliability might generate. In order to achieve both credibility and comparability, the fulfilment of the following requirements seems necessary: i) the expression of all results of environmental measurements in the SI unit, the mole, for amount of substance; ii) ensuring their traceability to the mole; iii) the assessment of their real performance through regular participation in external (border-crossing) quality assessment programmes using undisclosed, real-life samples. In this paper, examples of highly unsatisfactory measurement performances, together with possible improvements, are discussed and the need for an ethical approach by environmental scientists is highlighted.

Additional information

Authors: DE BIEVRE P, JRC Geel (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 22nd International Roland W. Frei Memorial Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Dortmund (DE), June 18, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 37016 ORA
Record Number: 199211140 / Last updated on: 1994-11-29
Original language: en
Available languages: en